Kapsalon is a fast food dish created in 2003 in Rotterdam, consisting of a layer of french fries placed into a disposable metal take-away tray, topped with döner or gyro meat, covered with slices of Gouda cheese, and heated in an oven until the cheese melts. Then a layer of shredded iceberg lettuce is added, dressed with garlic sauce and sambal, a hot sauce from the former Dutch colony of Indonesia.
The term kapsalon is Dutch for ‘hairdressing salon’, alluding to one of the inventors of the dish who worked as a hairdresser. The dish is a product of Dutch multiculturalism, combining elements of dishes from multiple cultures. The dish has spread internationally in a relatively short time.
The hairdresser named Nathaniel Gomes used to order this at the nearby kebab restaurant El Aviva. After a couple of times ordering this ‘special’ dish, the people working at El Aviva, simply started to call this “Kapsalon”. And so a dish was born. Nowadays it’s a very popular dish and pretty much all kebab restaurants in The Netherlands have it on their menu and call it Kapsalon.
It even became so popular that nowadays you can get this wonderful creation of Rotterdam cuisine in cities in Belgium, Germany and England. So after tulips, windmills and clogs the Kapsalon is here to stay as an icon of Dutch culture!